Suzanne Vega

Solitude Standing

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The songs on Solitude Standing, Suzanne Vega's second album, had years listed beside them on the lyric sheet, so you could see that some of them dated back to 1978. But that bold admission heralded the album's triumph -- its diversity was what made it so good. Partially, that was because the old songs were the equal of anything on the first album -- tunes like the a cappella slice-of-life "Tom's Diner" and the warmly romantic "Gypsy" simply wouldn't have fit thematically on the debut. On Solitude Standing, however, they became part of an album of story songs set in a variety of musical contexts; many had band arrangements, and in fact, members of Vega's touring band often were credited as co-writers. Additionally, Vega had developed more as a singer without losing the focused intonation that had made her debut -- one of many compelling elements which helped make "Luka," a character song about domestic abuse, a fluke hit.

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